back in the late 70′s, every saturday evening my family would watch the love boat and fantasy island, the latter being my favorite. i loved to see the opening credits and watch the pontoon plane glide into the lush beautiful island, landing on the water. although, i always felt funny when the little person in the white suite would ring the bell yelling, “da plane! da plane!”
in those days there was little latino representation on TV. but there was Ricardo Montalbán, as Mr. Roarke from fantasy island, and Hervé Villechaize, as Tattoo, Mr. Roake’s small assistant. i could relate with Tattoo. he was childlike, innocent, vulnerable and brown.
not only could i relate to Tattoo, but i also bore a striking resemblance to him. especially in my easter outfit. there i stood in a white shirt, white pants, white socks and shoes, chubby cheeks, brown skinned, and the same hair cut! i looked like a little person.
i knew there was something physically wrong with Tattoo, and i thought that meant there was something physically wrong with me. after much ado about why i wouldn’t wear the outfit, i finally confessed to my insecurities, and mom let me change.
thank goodness hollywood has evolved, and there are a litany of latina stars; America Ferrera, Selma Hayek, Eva Longoria, Sofia Vargas, and Selena Gomez to name a few.